The 3 di Quadri (3 of Diamonds) in La Vera Sibilla is one of my favorite cards in the deck. In the oldest surviving decks from the late 19th Century, this card is called Presente di Pietre Preziose (Present of Precious Stones), and it corresponds to the 3 of Diamonds in the playing card deck.
In the 1970s an edition of La Vera Sibilla was published by Masenghini with this card renamed as “Omaggio di Preziosi (Tribute of Precious things), and associated with the 8 di Quadri (8 of Diamonds) instead. The 3 of Diamonds in the Masenghini deck is replaced with Donna di Servizio (Servant Woman), which is associated with the 8 of Diamonds in the older traditional decks.
Interestingly despite the swap to Donna di Servizio in the Masenghini Sibilla, the 3 of Diamonds still features the keywords “Regalo-Pietre preziose (Gift/Precious Stones). So there appears to be some confusion in meaning between these two cards in the 1970s Sibilla.
Anyway, the thing I love about Presente di Pietre Preziose is that is so useful. It can represent so many diverse things. It is the card to use when you need to represent any object or personal possession, for example when reading on a lost or missing item.
In a general reading this card can denote that a gift is on the way. With Messagiere you can expect a package in the mail. Specifically, Presente di Pietre Preziose can represent a piece of jewelry. With the 5 of Hearts (Allegrezza al Cuore) it will represent an engagement ring or an engagement taking place. With the Ace of Clubs (Imeneo), it’s a wedding ring. If you work with quartz crystals and gemstones, this is the card that will represent them in a reading. In a spiritual reading, this is the card that tells me which crystals would benefit the querent.
In traditional Sibilla cartomancy some cards bear a positive influence on surrounding cards in a spread, and some will negatively affect their neighbors. In a general sense, Fiori (Clubs) tend to be dominantly positive, and Picche (Spades) tend towards negativity. But most cards are considered to be neutral and are at the mercy of these more dominant influences. Presente di Pietre Preziose is a neutral card, although it tends to be more auspicious in financial readings, and less favorable in romantic situations.
When positively influenced, Presente di Pietre Preziose is an excellent card to find in a reading for work or money. It can represent an advantageous proposal or a lucrative offer. It brings the idea of wealth, opulence and luxury to surrounding cards. The overflowing box of jewels looks sumptuously rich.
If this card falls next to a person card, it describes that person as wealthy. Next to Casa, it describes an expensive home, and with Viaggio it represents a luxury car. But when surrounded by negative cards the offers and proposals can sour, and the luxury items can turn out to be without true value. Presente di Pietre Preziose with Falsità can represent a fake diamond ring or other glass baubles and costume jewelry. With Il Ladro, it’s a warning of the loss or theft of something valuable.
Presente di Pietre Preziose is generally not a welcome card in a love relationship reading because it indicates a focus on material advantage rather than emotional fulfillment. When this card appears in reading about a troubled relationship, it will show a general lack of compatibility. The partners want different things, and are more focused on their own individual ambitions than on each other.
In health readings, the 3 of Diamonds will usually show a successful outcome of the prescribed treatment. Because it is predominantly a financial card, it can sometimes show out of pocket expenses or insurance issues when accompanied by unfavorable cards. In my own readings, Presente di Pietre Preziose has come to represent a very specific medical condition.
I suffer the distinct misfortune of regularly spawning kidney stones, and the 3 of Diamonds can make me shiver and sweat when it appears in my daily card draw. I recently drew the daily combination of Presente di Pietre Preziose with Ladro (Thief) and La Nemica (the Female Enemy). My immediate impression was that a woman would steal something of value from me, or perhaps a warning not to lose the lapiz pendant I wear on a chain around my neck, which would cause me anger and upset.
I suppose I was subconsciously blocking the true message in these cards because I did not want to contemplate the misery to come. In a matter of hours I was bent over in agony on the way to the hospital with a 4mm stone stuck in my ureter. The warning in the cards could not have been any clearer.
The cards show the stone (Presente di Pietre Preziose) being passed out of my body (Ladro) with sharp pain (La Nemica). The Female Enemy who is brandishing a blade in her left hand will often represent sharp pain in my daily cards– either physical or emotional.
When I’m trying to locate a lost item, I use the 3 of Diamonds to represent the missing object– unless it’s some kind of document which may be better represented by the card Lettera. Of course for a missing person I will use a person card, and for a missing pet I always use Bambino— I was taught that Fideltà and Falsità are never used to represent domestic pets, even though these cards include the images of a dog and a cat respectively. Naturally I also use Bambino to represent a child.
For locating missing objects I like to use the Lost Man Spread. I set my intention that the 3 of Diamonds will represent the item in question, shuffle the cards while I focus on the location of the lost object, and then spread the deck face up on the table and search the position of the 3 of Diamonds. The cards that appear next to Presente di Pietre Preziose– usually the first two or three on the left and those few directly on the right– will provide descriptions of where the item can be found.
When my nephew lost his DS game console I drew the following spread to help locate the missing toy. Presente di Pietre Preziose was surrounded by Casa and Bambino on the left, and Ammalato and Falsità on the right. Casa confirmed for me that the item was somewhere to be found inside the house. Bambino immediately suggested that baby brother had something to do with the disappearance of the gaming device.
Ammalato led us on an unsuccessful search of the three-year-old’s bedroom. Then it occurred to me that Falsità will usually represent a cupboard or enclosed storage space, and Allegrezza al Cuore suggests an area for dancing and play… THE TOY BOX in the playroom!!!
Well, we were disappointed when a thorough search of the toy box turned out to be a waste of time, but the missing game device did eventually turn up. It was found in the playroom under the baby brother’s trampoline! In retrospect, it makes good sense. An enclosed (Falsità) bed (Ammalato) used for jumping and dance and play (Allegrezza al Cuore)! The Sibilla can represent anything in life. The trick is learning to puzzle out the correct message.
The combination of Presente di Pietre Preziose with Allegrezza al Cuore reminds me that the 3 of Diamonds can also represent natural gifts and talents. It can reveal where we shine like a precious stone. I was surprised once in a reading when the cards predicted a marriage engagement with the classic combination of Allegrezza al Cuore and Presente di Pietre Preziose.
The client was confused because she was wholly dedicated to her career, and she had no intentions for marriage. She was not even involved in a steady relationship. It all made sense when it was revealed that the woman was a professional dancer, and the cards were highlighting her talents (Presente di Pietre Preziose) as a dancer (Allegrezza al Cuore), and predicting a fabulous opportunity on the way for a new gig and the advancement in her career.
I also love that Presente di Pietre Preziose is one of the few cards in the Quadri suit that retains its general positivity when reversed, but its influence is still considered neutral. With favorable cards, it promises slow improvement. No matter how difficult the situation appears at the moment, all will be resolved satisfactorily in time. But beware! With negative cards the reversed 3 of Diamonds may show greed and avarice. With the reversed Donna Maritata it describes the proverbial gold digger. With reversed Gran Signore, it’s the stereotypical tight-fisted cheapskate.